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Forget D.C. Forget Twitter. Forget what's on your screens. On America's 242nd birthday, the numbers in the poll below should be a hell of a lot higher.

Expand chart
Adapted from a Gallup report; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The big picture: Gallup this week began its report on the poll above (taken by phone June 1-13; 1,520 U.S. adults; ±3-point margin of error for total): "This Fourth of July marks a low point in U.S. patriotism. ... For the first time in Gallup's 18-year history asking U.S. adults how proud they are to be Americans, fewer than a majority say they are 'extremely proud."

  • By the numbers: "Currently, 47% describe themselves this way, down from 51% in 2017 and well below the peak of 70% in 2003."

A USA Today/Ipsos poll made a clever distinction in its questions and had a more encouraging result (taken online June 26-27; 1,004 U.S. adults; ±3.5 margin of error for total):

  • 72% felt proud to be Americans.
  • 42% feel proud of America right now.

Our thought bubble: When we begin conflating "America" with partisan forces on either side, they've won. The strength of our country has been that it transcends the fads, fevers and foul-ups of the moment.

Consider:

  • "The U.S. had more job openings this spring than unemployed Americans." (Wall Street Journal)
  • We travel freely: Every day, 2.5 million of us board 42,000 flights.
  • 25% of us do volunteer service.
  • The U.S. government spends close to $50 billion (1% of total federal budget authority) helping the world, plus billions more from U.S.-based philanthropies.
  • Americans are part of just 39% of the world population judged by Freedom House to be "free."
  • "Violent crime in the U.S. has fallen sharply over the past quarter century." (Pew Research Center)
  • "Crime in New York City Plunges to a Level Not Seen Since the 1950s." (N.Y. Times)
  • "Powered by a booming stock market and a strong economy," charitable giving in the U.S. last year "exceeded $400 billion in a single year for the first time." (Giving USA)
  • About 1.3 million of us are on active duty in the military, and 20 million of us once served. (But, per the Pentagon: "[T]he number of Americans with firsthand experience with service members or veterans has declined precipitously since the beginning of the all-volunteer military in 1973.")

There's plenty we can do better, and that our leaders should do better. We write about that on Axios all day, every day. Axios AM's highest purpose is to give you a clear-eyed view of a disruptive world, so you can make smarter decisions.

But enjoy today, and the country. America, here's to 243!

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Go deeper

Updated 3 mins ago - World

Russia to blame for Litvinenko's killing, European Court says

The grave of Alexander Litvinenko at Highgate Cemetery in London, England. Photo: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

The European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday that Russia "was responsible for assassination of Aleksandr Litvinenko" in London, England.

  • Litvinenko died in 2006 after being poisoned in the city with Polonium 210, a rare radioactive isotope.

Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

The great holiday shortage

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Brace yourself: It's going to be hard to find everything — not just your favorite holiday foods and hot toys and gifts but also basic staples like coffee and footwear — because of supply chain problems that will likely persist at least through next spring.

Why it matters: Scarce resources will likely lead to more scuffles among shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores, fewer deals for Black Friday and online price wars that could threaten the livelihood of already-suffering retailers.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Trudeau's Liberals set to form minority government after Canada election win

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government was reelected for a third term in Monday's parliamentary elections, but preliminary results show it failed to win a majority.

Why it matters: Trudeau has governed Canada with a minority of legislative support in parliament for the past two years. Last month, he called for an election two years earlier than scheduled in the hope of forming a majority government.